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Monday, December 22, 2008

Sleep, Stories, and Memory

My wife finds all sorts of interesting podcasts. One that is particularly fascinating (and educational) is RadioLab. This podcast/show covers questions like Why did the War of Worlds Work? and topics like the birth of the modern zoo. They are very fascinating, but sometimes cover topics that may not be appropriate for younger ears.

One of the most fascinating episodes is on sleep. I'm going to recommend you listen to it instead of tell you all about it. But at the end of the show they begin to speculate why our dreams are so vivid, so linear, so... story-like. One of the professors speculates that, for whatever reason, we remember, learn, and process things better if they are in a story form... even in our sleep.

Stories--not just ideas, facts, figures, or even concepts--stick in our minds, help us remember, and allow us to learn.

It is little wonder then why the arguably greatest teacher of all time used stories to teach His lessons, and didn't just tell us the bullet points we needed to remember.

The same is true of the lessons of Dr. Seuss, which I've heard most people can recall even in college.

Sonlight has utilized a literature-based approach to education from the very beginning. In fact, there are several articles on Sonlight's site about why literature is a great way to learn. And now, Radiolab gives us another reason to be confident in this educational model.

May all your proteins be properly folded. (Give it a listen to learn more.)

~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Expectant Father

3 comments:

Melonie said...

Great tip! My husband will love this. I'm not much of an auditory learner (okay, I'm TOTALLY not one) so unless they offer online transcripts it'll probably *literally* go in one ear and out the other with me. :-( But my hubby loooooves to download audiobooks and podcasts like this!

Butter said...

My husband is always finding new podcasts to download. I'll have to share that one with him.

It's funny how easy it is to learn through stories rather than random facts. Ani insists she is NOT learning when we do school because what we do is not like school. Of course considering she can tell us all about things we did in Core K over a year ago, I'd say she's learning plenty!

Luke said...

Melonie,
May your husband find great joy in it <smile>.

Butter,
Hope your husband enjoys it too.

And it sounds like your daughter is doing great and loving to learn. Fantastic! I love hearing great reports like this <smile>.

~Luke


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